French Cuffs or Button Cuffs?

What do French cuff dress shirts say about a man? Perhaps that he’s detail oriented. Or maybe that he has an advanced sense of style.

But because French cuffs — and the cufflinks that they hold — are considered more formal than simple button cuff dress shirts, they most likely indicate that the man has power — or craves it. It’s no surprise that when Bud Fox starts dressing more like zillionaire Gordon Gekko in 1987’s “Wall Street,” he starts wearing French-cuffed shirts along with more authoritative double-breasted suits.

Part of the extra formality of cufflinks comes from their ability to display wealth (not surprising, Donald Trump is a fan of cufflinks) through precious stones and metals. But most of us just see them as an opportunity for style and personal expression. Cufflink collecting is very easy to fall victim to, and with no less than 60 cufflinks available at Paul Fredrick, we’ll confess to encouraging this obsession.

Because of the French-cuffed shirt’s elevated formality, some purists would say you should only wear it with a suit, never a sport coat or blazer. But there are plenty of stylish guys to refute this — Roger Moore as James Bond comes to mind. And just because a button cuff shirt is more casual doesn’t mean it plays a less prominent role in the wardrobes of well-dressed men. Plenty of history’s most dapper gents — Fred Astaire, for example — actually preferred button cuffs.

So while formality comes into play, it’s ultimately an individual choice. And if you’re like us, you own both. Variety is the spice of every great wardrobe.

But we’ll leave you with this: A famous woman once noted how sexy it is to watch a man remove his cufflinks. Evidently for women, watching a man remove his cufflinks to take off a French-cuffed shirt is the equivalent of watching a woman remove her dress. Chalk it up to that whole Mars/Venus thing.


  1. I just want to say i throughly enjoy all these articles by all the various writers and PF Advisors on the PF blog, even if i’ve just read some and didn’t even comment i did appreciate them and learned something from them relating to sense of style or personal care of clothing. I’ve bought PF clothing for years though some years more than others as my wardrobe grew and i had so many clothing choices it sometime made it hard to make a choice what to wear. Over time i’ve slimmed down my closet only to start slowly filling it back up again as my size may have changed a few inches.

    As a purchaser of fines man clothing i have my own sense of style and i believe all men do individually. Having invested the time in very nice clothing with nice thread and patterns that personally delight and in feeling when you know you look great from PF or other brands, you do want to hear how to keep your clothing lasting longer and how best to take care of your wardrobe. So from that respect i do appreciate these articles or give tips on style of a well dressed man or how to make an attire of clothing stand out or be more expressive or with style.

    I’m not more of a jewelry wearer, but i still do like them. I’ve bought Cuff link shirts in the past quite a few and wore my Cuffs mainly with the great suits i had and still have. In less instances i’ve just worn a Cuff link shirt without a jacket or with a vest. I have few vests, but i did buy a few months ago a few PF suits of outstanding quality that have vests so i have hope. But reading this article i can picture how elegant and stylish it still looks with a nice Cuff link shirt in any respect wether wearing a jacket or not, with just a vest or well just with trouser. The sense of style just shines through wearing those Cuff links. I’ve never thought of the Cuff Links as Jewelry, but hey now i know better and may consider them more.

    Keep these articles flowing, for every men that just loves to look great with a great sense of style while wearing very fine threat clothing.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your wonderful comments, Henry! We appreciate hearing your feedback and are delighted to hear that you have been pleased with everything that you have received from us.

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